Apply and Audition

Important announcement about auditions in light of COVID-19: The Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University and the Office of Graduate Admission are committed to supporting our prospective MFA students during this challenging time. In accordance with advisories from government agencies, we have transitioned to remote operations and our upcoming auditions will now be conducted virtually. All MFA Acting applicants should tape their audition piece and upload the video to YouTube and email the public link to Questions can be directed to either Zachary Karp at in the Office of Graduate Admission; or Jee Duman at in the Actors Studio Drama School.


The Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University is currently accepting applications for Fall 2020 admission to the MFA program in Acting, Directing and Playwriting

Since there are a limited number of spaces available for auditions and interviews, applicants are encouraged to submit their application and supporting documents promptly.

Applications are currently being accepted for the Fall 2020 semester. We encourage students to submit and complete their applications early. Applicants who apply by January 1st will be able to secure an audition/interview on one of the early scheduled dates.

MFA Acting Auditions, Playwriting and Directing Interviews: Applicants will be contacted to schedule an audition or interview after we receive your application materials.

>> View Admissions procedures and apply online

For more information, contact the Office of Graduate Admission at 212-346-1531, or via e-mail to

The Program

The Actors Studio Drama School is a full-time, three year Master of Fine Arts program, open to qualified candidates who have earned a bachelor’s degree (baccalaureate degrees that are not BFA’s are also acceptable) or the international equivalent from an accredited college or university.  The Actors Studio Drama School does not offer part-time, non-credit or summer classes.

The Admissions Process

Candidates for admission may complete an online application or paper application and must supply the required components listed below:

  • Application
  • $70.00 application fee
  • Personal statement
  • Artistic Resume
  • 2 Letters of Recommendation (Theater, Academic, and/or Professional)
  • Headshot (for actors) - Hard Copy - Electronic copies are not acceptable.
  • Portfolio (for directors) - Hard Copy - Electronic copies are not acceptable.
  • Writing Samples (for playwrights) - 20 page maximum
  • Official College or University transcript(s) from all institutions attended
  • Official TOEFL or IELTS score report (if applicable)Pace University Financial Affidavit and Bank Documentation of Available Funds (for applicants who, if accepted, will require a student or exchange visitor's visa)

Once all the application materials are received, they will be reviewed by the Actors Studio Drama School admissions committee. Select candidates will be invited to audition, based upon the quality of their application materials. If selected for the interview or audition stage of the application process, the applicant will be contacted with more information.

If there are any questions at any stage of the process, please contact the Pace University Office of Graduate Admissions at (212)346-1531, or via e-mail at

Auditions for Actors

If you are selected to audition for the program, you will be asked to come prepared with a headshot, artistic resume, and a two-person scene, no longer than 5 minutes, from a contemporary work. Your partner in the scene does not need to be an applicant to the program.

We expect to learn about you from your selection of material, so please do not contact us for advice on scene selection. (We also ask that you not perform classical material.) Although it is not recommended, if you are unable to prepare a scene, you may substitute a contemporary monologue of fewer than 4 minutes.

A table and two chairs will be provided. While you may bring props, we recommend that they be kept to a minimum. While you should dress in an appropriate manner for your character, we strongly recommend that you not wear a costume or use a dialect. No introduction (of yourself or the scene) is required.

We often work with candidates while they are on stage during the audition, so while we are aware that some candidates may not be able to travel for the audition, we strongly encourage you to do so. We prefer to see you in person.   In those rare instances when time, finances and distance absolutely preclude a live audition, the admission committee will accept a high quality YouTube Video.

If you opt to submit a You Tube Video:

  • Make sure all of the images are clear, not blurry.
  • Make sure the auditory portion of the tape is clear and easily understood
  • Be sure the camera is close enough to capture your facial expressions, yet far enough away to capture your full body and its behavior
  • You should be unseated and moving through space
  • A scene with a scene partner from a published play is preferred
  • All lines must be memorized
  • Choose material that is active, has a clear beginning and moves to a distinct ending

Why a Scene is Preferred

In evaluating your performance, we will be looking for your ability to be present in the moment as well as responsive to your partner while on stage. The “Method” is based upon principles that require emotional truth, including the ability to listen and respond to the other actors. A monologue does not give us the opportunity to assess your abilities with regard to these principles.

Requirements and Interviews for Directors

We ask that all directors supply an artistic portfolio, in addition to their application materials. Portfolios can include production research, director’s notebooks or promptbooks, as well as photographs and reviews from productions you have directed. We are looking for anything that shows evidence of how you work as a director. You are encouraged to display your materials in a binder. We will use this in determining who will be selected for an interview. All interviews take place in New York City with a member of the directing faculty.

Requirements and Interviews for Playwrights

An application must include samples of your writing, including at least one dramatic work of no less than one-act length, which will be used in determining who will be selected for an interview. Please send a writing sample of no more than 20 pages. If you send more than 20 pages, only the first 20 pages will be read. All interviews take place in New York City with a member of the playwriting faculty.

International Applicants

In addition to the admission requirements outlined above, international applicants must also submit certified English translations of all school credentials (undergraduate and graduate transcripts), and a TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score that is no more than two years old.

Normally, a TOEFL score of 570 (paper-based version), 230 (computer based version), 88/89 (Internet-based version), or an IELTS score of 6.0 is sufficient to demonstrate the requisite proficiency in English for admission directly into Pace University’s academic programs. The Admission Committee may, however, require additional testing if, for example, as a result of materials submitted as part of your application or communications with you there are concerns about your ability to read, write, and speak English sufficiently to meet the demands of your intended curriculum. In that case, or if your TOEFL or IELTS score is below the guidelines stated above, your admission will be conditioned upon your successful completion of an intensive English language program at the Pace University English Language Institute (ELI) or a similar program approved by Pace University’s ELI.

Tuition, Financial Aid and Scholarships

Tuition for the 2019-2020 year is $44,528. In order to assure full consideration for merit and need based awards, all applicants are strongly urged to file the FAFSA at

Please include Pace University’s Federal Code 002791 for the New York City Campus on your FAFSA application.

Information on financial assistance is available in the Financial Aid section of the Pace Web site.